The True Cost of Divorce - Save Your Marriage Instead
If you're considering divorce, you probably have a history of marital problems, which could involve any or all of the following:
- You think you have an awful marriage, and it has been that way for a long time.
- You think you're no longer in love.
- You've had it with your spouse's mistreatment of you.
- You think your spouse hasn't lived up to what you expected, and instead is being controlling, manipulative, angry, or whatever.
- Perhaps you are having an affair on the side and all you can think of is your new relationship.
Some financial factors to consider in the cost of a divorce:
- You have to have a plan to split your property, investments, and income.
- If you have children, you have to have a plan to manage child custody and visitation, which may have financial implications.
- Sometimes legal fees become a major factor in divorce. One person, either by intention or obstinacy or even misunderstanding can drive up the legal expenses considerably.
- The areas of tangible property and custody might seem straightforward to you. However, there are almost always emotional issues related to these decisions that you will have to deal with.
- At the moment it might seem that all you want is relief from your terrible marriage and your awful spouse, but divorce impacts every area of your life and almost all the people in your life in ways you cannot even guess at this time, and mostly in bad ways.
- For most couples, whatever income you have has created your life-style. With separation and divorce that same income will have to support two households.
- I am always surprised when an otherwise perfectly reasonable and up-until-now friendly, or even loving, spouse can lose all thinking capacity and be willing to give up large sums of money in anger, thinking it might hurt the partner who is asking for the divorce.
- Legal fees can be considerable if there is disagreement, or complicated settlement or custody decisions.
- Bitter anger does not just affect lawyer's fees, but can result in an unbalanced settlement if, for whatever reason, the other party is willing to give in, rather than argue for an equitable settlement.
Can you admit you might be wrong?
There are so many hidden negative aspects to divorce, but many people get caught up in the momentum. Think of someone who might be contemplating suicide. This person might have normal ups and downs, and at a time of an extreme down period forget many good experiences and feel defeated thinking there could be no future good times. If the person gets caught up in that negative momentum, he might murder himself without fully considering that life is a long-term project with ups and downs because at that moment the struggle to continue feels too great.
Divorce is often like that. At the moment, one of the spouses feels that the effort to fix the marriage is just too great. Sometimes, they may have even tried counseling, but "it" didn't work.
If you really knew how much pain and financial cost divorce can create in your situation, perhaps you'd reconsider. Let me be clear, though, creating a wonderful marriage takes work and time. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could take what you started when you first married and make it into something wonderful now? If you put in that hard work and manage to turn your relationship around, the history you now see as filled with negatives will turn around also. Then you will be able to see again the strength in the history and family you share together.
Take a deep breath and think about working on your marriage.
You were once very much in love and had great times together, even if it is difficult in your present state to remember those wonderful shared experiences. Good marriage counseling can help you get back to that point. The bad feelings and problems in your marriage are built up over years from neglect and taking for granted what you have. Instead of divorce, consider marriage counseling with a marriage-friendly counselor who has appropriate experience for your situation. With proper guidance from an expert and work on your part, you can most probably retrieve the love in your marriage and avoid divorce. You will save thousands and possibly tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer's fees and other costs.
I discuss other aspects of divorce on my website, for example, at Children and Divorce Staying Together for the Kids?
- You might want to check out my self-help programs. See the box entitled Books by Dr. Gunzburg in the left hand margin of this page.
- Or work with me directly by calling my personal number at 410-654-1300. My charges are all based on $260 per 60 minutes.
- Or, if you are short on money, try these free e-Courses which borrow heavily from my ideas: Saving Your Marriage and Survive An Affair
I wish you all the best in finding the love you've lost in the spouse whose history you have shared for years.
Frank Gunzburg, Ph.D.
Back to Marriage Counseling and Marriage Help Home Page
Back to Free Marriage Tips and Advice Main Page